Swamp Shop stocked with gear for fansWritten by Ashley McMahon | | email@example.com
As fans sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” within the cozy confines of Fifth Third Field, they may want to get decked out in some snazzy apparel from the Toledo Mud Hens’ Swamp Shop.
Toledo’s baseball team is debuting plenty of brand-new merchandise for the 2015 season, said Craig Katz, director of merchandising and licensing.
“Every season, about 90 percent of our store is brand-new merchandise, the other 10 to 20 percent is what we consider our core items,” Katz said. “That includes our best sellers — the products our fans expect to see every year.”
The Swamp Shop’s new items include a collection of sleek hooded sweatshirts, fan-friendly T-shirts and fashion-forward baseball hats for women.
The Mud Hens purchase licensed minor league merchandise from Nike, Bimm Ridder Sportswear, Under Armour, ’47 Brand and more to stock its store, which can also be accessed from outside the ballpark at 406 Washington St. During home games, fans can also peruse the goods in the Hen Hut, a smaller version of the Swamp Shop located behind home plate inside Fifth Third Field.
Katz and his team perform extensive research in the offseason to discover new trends. These determine the new styles that enter the Swamp Shop for the upcoming season.
Katz said fans of all ages can find items that suit their fancy. The Swamp Shop caters to the team’s entire fan base, a diverse group.
“We serve infants all the way up to retirees, both women and men,” he said.
The Mud Hens have a large fashion line for women as well as an extensive children’s line.
“We’re one of the few teams in minor league baseball that gives so many choices for women and kids,” Katz said. “Very rarely will someone walk out of our store and say, ‘You don’t have what I want.’ If we don’t have the exact items, someone can find something similar.”
And while the tees and hats hold their own on the best-sellers list, it’s the Mud Hens’ beloved mascots, Muddy and Muddonna, that inspire the most popular item inside the store.
“The plastic orange Muddy calling whistle is our most popular item in the store,” Katz said. “We will sell 5,000 of those every year.”
In addition to the whistles and apparel, this year fans can expect to see a few special items honoring the Hens’ 2015 promotions.
On May 9, the Mud Hens celebrate “Star Wars” night. During this game, the Swamp Shop will sell three special “Star Wars”-themed T-shirts, available in sizes infant to adult.
In addition, the Mud Hens will team up with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Aug. 6 for Bacon & Eggs night. During the game, both teams will wear special jerseys, which will be available for purchase inside the Swamp Shop.
The Swamp Shop is open year-round 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and during baseball season, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Fans can also shop online at www.mudhens.com.